Judaism features

Is there an exorcist in the house? What rabbis felt about ghosts

By Sina Cohen, August 18, 2016

Spectres and haunted houses are back in Hollywood fashion. After the return of Ghostbusters, a new band of spirit-chasers go after the paranormal in The Ghost Team. While both films are comedies, BBC's recent series The Living and the Dead about spooky goings-on in a Somerset village was a darker affair.

But are ghosts merely the stuff of fiction and computer-generated imagery?


From the ashes of despair on Tishah b'Av comes a ray of hope

By Rabbi David Lister, August 11, 2016

Korach was one of the villains of the Bible. He fomented a coup against Moses and Aaron, accusing them of arrogance, of despotic exploitation of the people. "All the congregation are holy and God is in their midst!", he protested. "Why then would you exalt yourselves over the community of God?" (Numbers 16:3.)

Moses tried to reason with Korach and his followers, but to no avail.


We need more Jewish schools rather than just schools for Jews

By Rabbi Daniel Levy, July 28, 2016

Current discussion about Jewish free schools has centred on one aspect: their admissions policy. Under the regulations, they can reserve only half their places for Jewish children and, in theory, the rest may come from other faiths. Unhappy with this state of affairs, the Chief Rabbi is lobbying for lifting the 50 per cent cap.


In India, women had their own space for hearing the Torah

By Deborah Rubin Fields, July 21, 2016

The women's section, the ezrat nashim, is the most prominent feature distinguishing Orthodox synagogues from those of other movements. Orthodox men and women pray separately and, in almost all cases, the Torah reading takes place in the men's section.


Streaming Shabbat services can be a tonic for hospital patients

By Rabbi Dr Jeremy Collick, July 14, 2016

After more than 11 weeks in various hospitals I am, hopefully, on the way to recovery.


Would Louis Jacobs have made a difference as Chief Rabbi?

By Rabbi Dr Jeremy Rosen, July 7, 2016

Louis Jacobs was the last kind of Anglo-Jewish rabbi who was a rational thinker, an outstanding academic and a traditional talmudist; an alumnus of the Gateshead Kollel and a pupil of the outstanding Rav Dessler.

He was senior lecturer at the now defunct Jews' College, where Torah and academia co-existed. He was expected to follow Isidore Epstein as its head.


T​he DIY spirit that is defying the impact of religious recession

By Simon Rocker, June 23, 2016

The first night of Pesach conveniently fell on a Friday night this year, making it easier for many people to organise a Seder.


London is crying out for a new modern Orthodox high school

By Felicia Epstein, June 16, 2016

There is a crying need in the London Jewish community for a state-funded secondary school which is committed to a tolerant and inclusive modern Orthodoxy.


Ruth, the outsider who became a role model of redemption

By Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, June 9, 2016

Among the themes of Megillat Ruth, which we read on Shavuot next week, we see an emphasis on names and lineage. In the aftermath of a devastating famine, a man called Elimelech, whose name means "my God is King", has left his home in Bet-lechem (Bethlehem), which means the "house of bread".

In exile, his sons die.


The reason why God spoke at the revelation on Sinai

By Lord Sacks, May 26, 2016

The pagan cultures of ancient times and today's science-based atheism have one thing in common. They hold that all there is, is bounded by the physical, essentially material world of nature.